Defamation, computer crimes and lese majeste

2 09 2015

Following the acquittal of Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison from news site Phuketwan, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders “urges Thailand to repeal its criminal defamation laws following the acquittal of two reporters.”

It states: “Thailand must now abolish criminal defamation and make the Computer Crimes Act compliant with the country’s international law obligations…”.

We wonder why lese majeste, the most heinous of defamation laws, is not mentioned as a law in need of abolition? The document does mention this:

On 30 May 2012, the Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced Ms. Chiranuch “Jiew” Premchaiporn, Executive Director of the online news website Prachatai, to one year in prison and a 30,000 baht (750 Euros) fine under Article 15 of the Computer Crimes Act. The court reduced the sentence to an eight-month suspended jail term and a 20,000 baht fine. The charges were the result of Chiranuch’s failure to promptly remove comments that had been posted on the Prachatai web board between April and November 2008, which the court considered to have offended the monarchy.

That should be cause for campaign again both the Computer Crimes Act and lese majeste.



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